Email Usage Statistics for Marketers & Small Business Owners (2021)

email usage stats

Email Usage Statistics

If you are a small business owner you probably steer your email marketing based on a variety of key performance indicators (aka KPIs or metrics). 

You probably monitor metrics such as open rate, click-to-open rate, bounce rate, and of course, overall ROI.

Keeping track of performance is integral to email marketing. It helps you as a small business owner and marketer to understand where you can improve and how to adjust your strategies accordingly. 

That being said, it’s also important for marketers to be aware of current email usage trends and statistics. With this information, you’ll know how to stay relevant to your audience.

In this post, we’ll walk you through email usage statistics that will help you create campaigns to help your brand stand out from the competition.

The number of email users

These up-to-date email stats show that there are over 3.9 billion active email users worldwide as of 2019, and this number is expected to steadily increase for the foreseeable future. 

Statista predicts that the number of email users will expand to 4.4 billion by 2023.

number email users globally
Global Number of Email Users. Source: Statista

To compare, there are currently 3.5 billion social media users across the globe. 

While this is a significant number, there’s no denying that email definitely overpowers social media in terms of user base.

The data makes it clear. If you are looking for a more effective way for your small business to reach its target audience, then email marketing is an ideal tool to use. Since email has a user base that numbers in the billions, there is a large pool of potential subscribers you can connect with. 

The rate of email opens on mobile

Smartphones are very much ingrained in people’s lives.

On a daily basis, your consumers use their smartphones to request an Uber, order takeout, shop for clothes and shoes, and last but certainly not least, check their emails. 

As a result, mobile email usage has exponentially increased over the last several years. 

IBM’s 2018 Marketing Benchmark Report states that approximately 50% of all email opens happen on mobile.

email device usage
Email Device Usage by Industry. Source: IBM

For specific industries, the rate gets even higher. 

According to IBM’s report, the leisure, sports, and recreation industry has an average mobile open rate of 60%. 

For lodging and travel agencies and services, the mobile email open rate is 55.6%. Meanwhile, for marketing and advertising, it’s 54.7%.

When it comes to email opens, mobile devices have clearly taken over traditional desktop usage. 

This is why you should optimize your emails for mobile, especially if your small business is among one of the industries where the majority of email opens occur on mobile.

If you ignore this step, you run the risk of alienating a significant portion of your audience. Furthermore, the chances of your subscribers ignoring or deleting your emails become much higher.

The number of emails received per day

Just a few years ago, Radicata reported that the average person received around 121 emails every day. 

This number has bumped up recently, with updated reports estimating that consumers now receive 126 emails each day.

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average number emails per day
Average Number of Emails Received Per Day. Source: Radicati

To put it into perspective, this means that consumers receive an average of 45,990 emails each year, 5.25 emails per hour, and approximately 1 email every 12 minutes. 

That’s a lot of emails to go through, especially since consumers have a lot of other things to do.

The takeaway here is that it has become much more challenging to get noticed by your target audience. 

Inboxes are more crowded than ever, so you have to make an additional effort to grab the attention of your subscribers. One of the best ways you can achieve this is by writing subject lines that hook your email readers. Here are some easy yet proven tips that you can follow.

  • Keep it short and sweet. Your subject lines should consist of a maximum of five words. This way, the entire subject line displays on your subscribers’ screens even on mobile.
  • Personalize. Always include your subscribers’ first names in your email subject lines.
  • Use time-sensitive language. Including phrases like 24-hour exclusive or on sale today only establishes a sense of urgency that entices your subscribers to act on your emails.

The number of marketers who leverage email

With the amount of revenue that email marketing can potentially bring, it’s hardly surprising that businesses—from small enterprises to multinational conglomerates— take advantage of email.

Data from the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reveals that email marketing is the number one way in which marketers nurture their audiences. 

According to CMI, 87% of marketers leverage email marketing.

marketers using email
Use of Email by Marketers. Source: Content Marketing Institute

However, only 58% of these marketers say that their email marketing strategies paid off.

While you may not be blazing a new trail in your decision to use email marketing, you can definitely be more successful than other small businesses in your niche when it comes to nurturing audiences. 

You just have to send relevant messages with the goal of helping your customers solve problems and improving their lives in the process, instead of simply making a sale.

The amount of spam and its financial impact on businesses

Anti-spam laws have been in effect for years, and the General Data Protection Regulation was implemented in 2018. 

However, this doesn’t mean that spam is now a thing of the past.

On the contrary, data suggests that spam email will remain a problem for many years to come.

According to the Internet security website, experts estimate that 58 billion spam emails will be sent every day in the next four years. 

categories of spam
Categories of Spam sent Globally. Source: Statista

They also estimate that these spam emails will cost businesses nearly $200 billion annually.

In an effort to clean up their users’ inboxes, internet service providers (ISPs) are now implementing much stricter spam filters. 

Understanding spam filters will especially help you with the following points:

  1. Preventing email bounces and landing in subscribers’ spam folders 
  2. Maintaining a solid sender reputation 

Remember, ISPs flag companies that send spam, making it harder for them to successfully send their messages.

Wrap up

As a small business owner, you need to keep yourself informed on how email is being used by your audience. 

It will help you determine which email marketing practices are best for your brand and therefore ensure the long-term success of your campaigns.

Charlie has been building WordPress themes, reviewing web hosts and utilizing social media since their respective inceptions.

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